One of the biggest current holes on the NY Giants roster is at the center positon. Temple’s Matt Hennessy deserves a serious look, especially should he slip on draft day.
Other than the hail mary that is offensive tackle, Nick Gates, sliding over to center, the NY Giants have almost zero options at the pivot position heading into the 2020 NFL Draft. With only two selections inside the top 98, the team is going to have to get creative if it wants to fix all of its offensive line problems in one draft.
Enter Temple’s Matt Hennessy, who was a top 3 finalist for the Remington Award (college football’s best center) and a 2020 third-team All-American. While #36 at the top of the second round is probably too high to consider the former American Athletic Conference player, he becomes very interesting at the #99 (third round) and #110 (fouth-round) spots.
Despite not playing against the best competition college football has to offer, Hennessy’s production was insane. The center allowed just 4 pressures in 13 games, good for a 0.8% pressure rate. When you factor in that the AAC is a pretty underrated conference in general, those stats become even more impressive.
Hennessy also has solid bloodlines when it comes to football as his brother was a four-year starter at Duke and currently plays for the New York Jets. The major question when it comes to Hennessy flourishing into an NFL starter is his athletic ability, as experts believe he may lack the raw mass and athleticism to succeed in the pros.
However, when you turn on his tape you see a highly-functioning center that craves contact and is rarely overmatched. He finishes in the run game, was a team leader and couldn’t possibly have done better against the competition he faced.
The former Temple standout has elite timing and functioning between his hands and feet and consistently won against stronger defenders due to his hand usage.
He also got better each and every season in college which is always something you want to see. Waiting until the third or fourth-round to address the pivot position would allow the NY Giants to potentially go after another position of need in the first or second round, and as we know, Big Blue has plenty of needs outside offensive line.
You can bet GM Dave Gettleman and new head coach Joe Judge will have their eyes on Hennessy as we wrap up this 2020 NFL draft process.